Farmers and Ranchers in Carden or Ramara Township have a number of options open to them for fencing.
Alvar environments boast ecological communities that are incredibly rare and worth protecting for future generations. Regionally, the globally-significant Carden limestone plain is an area of large, diverse, and relatively un-fragmented habitat including alvars, shrublands, grasslands, forests, and wetlands.
There is excitement developing in the Common Loons that have spent the past few months off shore on the Eastern Seaboard. It’s an inner drive that compels them to begin their northern migration back to our lakes. It is not only an exciting time for them, but for those of us who are just now enjoying the warmth of an early spring sun and the longer days!
The following article has been prepared by Derek Ford, with photos by Heather Ewing and Ulrich Kretschmar. It looks at the geology of the alvar, with pictures of many of the unique features of the area.
Canada Geese have fared very well across Canada and many parts of the World in spite of significant residential and commercial growth. They have adapted to human intervention unlike any other bird, to the extent that for many of us, they have become quite a nuisance.
The Carden Plain is part of the “Land Between,” an area bordered by the Canadian Shield and Great Lakes Lowlands. An alvar is characterized by a limestone base with a small or no amount of soil. The birding in this area is world renowned and it is recognized as an Important Birding Area. Also, it supports unique plants that adapt to the harsh conditions of wet springs and very dry summer conditions. An open alvar vista in bloom will take your breath away with its delicate, harsh beauty.
The bluebird is doing well in Carden, thanks to two things: first, a local man named Herb Furniss has spent the last few decades building and distributing white bluebird boxes throughout the region, quietly making a huge difference for these little birds; second, Wylie Road rolls through an area where more than 6,000 acres of grassland, forest and wetland has been conserved as natural habitat.
Ask any farmer, and they’ll tell you there are not nearly so many Barn Swallows as there used to be. The science backs them up – over the past 20 years, there has been a steep drop in swallow populations across eastern North America. In Ontario, Barn Swallows are now listed as a threatened species.
It is a rite of spring for me to build swallow houses– each March getting the urge to build a few from left over’s from wood working projects and from scraps from local contractors who know I would never refuse a scrap of usable wood or asphalt shingles.
For a decade now the Conservancy has been building fences on the properties we manage to keep cattle out of streams, and then creating alternative watering sources for cattle to access. We’ve also been helping other ranchers in the area to do the same.